by Donna Reid

As I write this January column I am in the midst of excitement & chaos that proceeds the holiday season in Hamilton. But you will be reading this in a brand new year – with all of 2018 ahead of us.

Tis the season for resolutions. We are bombarded by messages, sales pitches and programs to stop smoking, eating and drinking (the BIG 3).   But how about we start the New Year by making a commitment to learn more about our own hometown – Hamilton.  And one way to learn about your city is to get off the couch and Explore!

Here are just a few ideas of inexpensive (or free things) to get you started on your urban exploring this year:

  • Take a walk in nature. The city is different in winter. Places like Bayfront Park, the Waterfront Trail and the Beach strip are quieter but you can still walk the pathways and perhaps find a park bench to carve out some time for quiet contemplation. Or head to one of the many woodland trails in the Conservation areas. You’ll be reminded how lucky we are to live in a big city with natural beauty close by.
  • Go to an Art Gallery. Art galleries are for everyone.  Of course during Art Crawl – the 2nd Friday of every month year round (January 12 2018) – the galleries on James Street North are open with many hosting new exhibits.

And nearby is The Gallery on the Bay at Barton and Bay. It’s a beautiful space that features a new exhibit every few months. Check it out:

And the Art Gallery of Hamilton at 123 King Street East has free admission the first Friday of every month after 4 pm.

  • Visit a part of Hamilton you’ve never been to before. Hamilton is actually six municipalities (Ancaster, Dundas, Glanbrook, Flamborough, Stoney Creek and Hamilton) – each with its own identity, flavour and neighbourhoods.  For example: did you know that Stoney Creek has its own downtown?  A charming walkable village with great shops.  Check out Parkermanns Tea Room if you go.  They blend a wide range of ethically sourced teas and homemade treats. Parkermanns Fine Tea on FB.
  • Go to the library. Libraries continue to evolve and are an integral component of our city and very much a community hub.  The Hamilton Public Library offers a wide range of learning and entertainment options with over on a monthly basis.  For the latest visit:  (events / programs)
  • And because I love architecture …visit Hamilton City Hall – not just to pay your parking tickets or taxes. This is our building and from an architectural standpoint it is one of the finest examples of Mid Century architecture in Canada.  If they can’t give you a FAQ sheet on its features pop me an email & I’ll share one I wrote several years ago.  Building is open 8:30 to 4:30 Monday to Friday.

Enjoy a wonderful 2018 exploring Hamilton.

Love Your City!

Donna Reid

Donna created and owns The Hamilton Store on James Street North.  She has lived in the near North End (Central) for almost twenty years.